So, we are almost one week into the new year. Sounds like as good of a time as any to look at any "plans" one might have for the year with regards to their artwork, writing, or other personal pursuits that one does in hopes of gaining attention to their medium.
I post on this blog as well as try to write short stories and am a frequent tweeter on Twitter. I paint and work on mixed medium collages, but, for the most part, painting with acrylics is my preferred mode of expressing myself. So, what can I do to make these more interesting for me to pursue and for viewers to enjoy? This is where the business plan comes into play.
You will constantly find me writing notes in small notebooks regarding ideas that capture my attention, jotting down phrases that sound interesting to "google." People who know me, know well enough not to take me near any shop that might carry interesting art supplies or different types of paper to play with. And that is what I do, I play with my equipment and supplies to develop different looking pictures, cards, or artwork of some type to intrigue people with or at least to catch their eye with an off beat image that appeals to them for some reason. They might not even be able to tell you why a piece of artwork is appealing to them, but they know pretty much instantly, whether they like it or not, despite not being able to communicate why.
Here is where my business plan for the year comes into play. I write down all my ideas of what I want to accomplish artistically over the next twelve months. These ideas can be for written pieces or for paintings or drawings that I hope to put down on canvas or paper. The paintings could encompass a number of pieces all in one subject area. The drawings might make up another series completely. I am hoping to paint a number of canvases with illustrations of faeries, one for each month of the year, each season, and perhaps each holiday. I am also hoping to do drawings of people's hands, old with young, hands hardened by constant work accompanied by "pretty" hands like the elegant ones of a ballerina. This series of drawings may well be transferred to canvas and I know that this project is not likely to be completed this year due to the number of drawings involved and because I am hoping to find quite a number of people to model for me. I am hoping this is so. At this point, I am resigned to working only with unwilling models who come for a visit only to find me, camera in hand, asking them to hold a cup of tea in various positions.
Writing is an entire other field of work. My posting here in this blog takes on the challenge of telling you what I am working on and trying to creatively describe the process involved. Other writings may be of future stories to be illustrated and possibly one day, to be printed for children of all ages to enjoy. I love writing stories and become too attached to them to the point of not wanting to let others see them. I gently work on each character to make them into the ideal one required in a particular story. There is always a story being worked on, refined, and at times set aside for another look one day when I feel that I have a revision that just might work to bring the story to life. I never give up on a story, I may set it aside temporarily, but I never give up on it. To get a story down on a page or two or three, takes a great amount of time and to just toss it away as if it had no more meaning to me, that would be cruel to the story and the characters in it. Did I mention that I am a little too involved with my stories? Yes, well, the characters become so real to me that they live and breathe like real people. Even if the story is about faeries, imaginary creatures and so on, these little creatures live just the same as their human counterparts. They are real to me and I hope that they are real to an audience living amongst others who also dare to write down their dreams and share them.
This is how my business plan is unfolding at this point. It does not involve any major outlay of money and it definitely does not bring in any funds with which to replenish the supplies used. But what my business plan does is give me guidance on what to work on next or where I should be looking to pick up more art supplies or research a little more for the background in a painting or in a story. I work a little on my business plan each day as it is never engraved in stone as to how it will unfold. I find comfort in reviewing my plans and never leave my flat without something to write in should an idea confront me whilst at the doctor's office or having a cup of tea with a friend. There is always a book or two in my tote, related to whatever subject matter that I might be writing about or painting. Quite often, a selection of coloured pencils, markers and other drawing implements accompany me in my travels. I never know when I might be slowed in my travels due to appointments running late and so I prepare myself prior to leaving home. I must add truthfully, a snack of crackers, cheese and or fruit is often tucked into my bag of goodies. A hungry artist or writer is not a happy camper when delayed by a tardy physician who needs only to check my chart, write a prescription and admonish me to take care of myself as it appears that maybe I am not eating healthily. Yes, this might be the physician who was heard to say to his nurse that he did not care about the nature of a brownie he was offered, only that it was indeed a brownie. Hmmm. Well, I guess that means baking a pan of brownies is in order later this month when I am due for my appointment.
As you can see, my mind often wanders when writing and this is reflected in my business plan for a non business person. I am a quiet artist who works on various pursuits of the art world in my tiny flat. My commute is only from the studio/bedroom to put the kettle on to make a pot of tea and then back to the drawing board or over to the laptop. This is my world, this is my little business. I work just to keep myself busy and to try to brighten up the day for those I encounter in my actual travels or my cyber travels. I hope you enjoy my artistic journeys as much as I do. Now, down to the business at hand, will that be butterscotch or chocolate brownies?
P.S. I am currently working on a painting on a 16 inch square canvas. I had pulled out one that was 24 inches square, but I chickened out and opted to work on a slightly smaller piece. While I am not 100% certain, I suspect that this painting will include some faerie folk in it. These tiny people appeal to me in the cold winter months. I can always make the scene take place in a forest or spring time meadow. That is one of the perks of being the artist or writer. I get to make the final choice or the final edit. I will tweet when the painting is done or if a new story is imminent. But then you all know how much I like to tweet, right?